Landscape, in the Aftermath of Flood

This is the way it often is, after calamity:
sudden gust of quiet, or spool of open air;

a few hundred feet of nothing. Nothing moving,
nothing doing, gray stasis of between-one-thing-

and-another. Until: closer view of the aftermath—
human figures daubed with mud, pinned under the ruins.

Did you not move quietly? Didn’t you take care not
to rouse the gods, or the duendes, or the anitos?

When you passed a large outcropping of rock,
didn’t you keep your head down? Didn’t you stop

short of teasing the makahiya into folding up its
leaflets? Didn’t you whisper, pagpaumanhin po ninyo ako?

Pray that the river does not rise again, does not reach
its muddy arms to take you in your sleep. Whole

cities have just gone under. When the wind bears down,
every frond bristles with the recent memory of voices

calling children from supper and to bed, singing
simple lullabies, saying Yes, tomorrow.

It’s all you can do to keep from giving yourself to
oblivion. If not for taking the living in your arms.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series NavigationA Carol →

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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